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Tips for divorcing dads: How to survive the process

Divorcing dads -- just like all divorcing spouses -- will face a host of difficult emotions. They may find themselves worried about losing time with their kids, losing part of their financial savings and they could be tempted to engage in retaliatory arguments and unnecessary court battles with exes.

Fortunately, there's a better way to navigate your divorce.

How dads can make their divorces easier

Even if your ex is being difficult and contentious, you might be able to make your divorce easier both for yourself and for your kid. Here are some steps fathers may find helpful on this front:

Don't react: Your spouse could be very good at throwing emotional stones and flaring up old arguments. Your spouse might make mean and insulting comments and say any number of things. Your best course of actions is to note what your spouse said, but don't respond, argue or engage. Keep your rational head about you as an angry reaction could give your ex ammunition to use against you in court.

Stay at home: It may be the most difficult time of your life, but you might not want to move out of your house until you have set up a temporary child custody arrangement with the court. Dads who leave their homes can be painted by the court as fathers who abandoned their kids. It could serve to give the other spouse an upper hand during child custody proceedings.

Write everything down: Keep a daily journal of everything you do as a father with your kids. Jot down what your spouse says and does. Make a note of any money you spend on your children. For that matter, keep a record of all your spending. If there is a difficult incident in public between you and your spouse, jot down the names of witnesses. Print your bank record to show whether your spouse has made significant or unusual withdrawals.

Stay in contact with your kids: Be present for your children's events, games and performances. Make sure your kids feel loved by you and know that you're always there for them. Also, never badmouth their mother or speak negatively about her, even if she starts to speak badly about you.

Know your rights as a father

Last but not least, fathers should educate themselves on their legal rights. In fact, fathers have the same rights as mothers in family law court when it comes to child custody, child support and other concerns. By better understanding your parental rights, you'll be better able to protect your rights and your relationship with your kids during court proceedings.

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